Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
This quick and easy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing has bright, fresh lemon flavor and just the perfect lightly thickened consistency. It’s super versatile, too – check out all the ways we like to use it!
The Best Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
Each time I make this Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, I’m amazed at the amount of flavor that comes from such a short ingredients list. It’s the BEST lemon poppy seed dressing I’ve ever had!
My mother-in-law has had me on the hunt, for many years, for a really great poppy seed dressing recipe. And I’m happy to say I’ve finally reached that goal!
This dressing is so incredibly fresh and flavorful, with just the perfect lightly thickened consistency.
It makes me reconsider it to be my new favorite homemade lemon dressing. For years, my herby lemon vinaigrette has had me under its spell…but now I’m in a serious quandary!
I like to drizzle this bright lemon dressing over a big bowl of greens and berries, and then serve it with some heavenly warm popovers and cinnamon honey butter. It’s pretty wonderful with a fresh strawberry salad, too.
I also adore it with a fresh winter apple salad, which is perfect for holiday meals, and easy enough to make all winter long!
What You’ll Need
This recipe should get an award. It delivers big-time flavor with very few ingredients!
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Honey – This adds the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the lemon’s acidity.
- Lemon juice & zest – The star of the show, lemon is the bright, fresh flavor base of this dressing. The zest ensures even more lemon flavor!
- Yellow onion – Just a little, for added flavor and texture.
- Dijon mustard – Dijon adds a depth of flavor and a creamy quality, it’s a favorite ingredient in many of my salad dressings.
- Poppy seeds – Or is THIS the star of the show?!
- Salt & pepper
How To Make It
This recipe is super duper easy to make!
- Add all ingredients to a quart jar. You could also use a small-ish bowl with tall sides.
- Blitz ingredients. Use an immersion blender to blitz until smooth and thickened. You could also use a blender or food processor.
My Best Tip
If you want a smooth, thickened, and opaque dressing like my photos show, definitely use an immersion blender – or a regular blender or food processor.
This blitzing smooths out the little bits of onion and lemon zest.
It also brings all the ingredients together and causes the dressing to thicken and emulsify, which means it’ll not separate. Although you’ll probably still want to give the dressing a vigorous shake or a good stir before using, after storing it in the fridge.
Do I have to use a blender?
It’s definitely not a requirement to blitz this dressing. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t!
If you’d prefer more of a lemon poppy seed vinaigrette, then simply skip the blitzing. Just combine all the ingredients in a jar, seal tightly, and shake vigorously to combine.
This will give you more of a vinaigrette, with a thinner consistency and a clearer appearance. You will also have small bits of onion and lemon zest – so if you don’t want big chunks, mince the onion very finely.
Also know that with this method the ingredients will settle when stored in the fridge. You will need to shake or stir it to reincorporate before each use.
How To Use This Poppy Seed Dressing
This lemon poppyseed dressing is extremely versatile, and it always starts with some fresh greens. Here are a few delicious ideas for you, to create the salad of your dreams!
- Choose your favorite greens. Depending on the season and what I’m in the mood for, I like to change up the greens. Most often I use a spring mix, tender butter lettuce, or peppery arugula.
- Greens + berries for spring & summer. This bright dressing begs to be enjoyed with sweet seasonal berries.
- Greens + apples + pomegranate arils for winter and the holidays. During the cold winter months, lemon poppy seed dressing adds a burst of sunshine to the table. It pairs beautifully with wintertime fruits such as apples and pomegranates – do check out my winter apple salad recipe!
- Add a protein. To create a main entree salad with this dressing, simply add some cooked, sliced chicken or steak, or some salmon.
- Throw in some nuts. I love some salty, crunchy nuts with most any salad. Think about cashews, pecans, or almonds. Candied pecans are especially fun and delicious!
- Include some cheese. Cheese adds texture and flavor, and there are so many choices. My favorites include crumbled goat cheese or feta, shaved Parmesan, and shredded Monterey Jack.
- Serve with popovers or bread. It’s fun to have some warm bread when eating a fresh salad, to sop up all the delicious tidbits. Sometimes I warm up a loaf of crusty sourdough or soft Italian bread. Croissants are super lovely, fitting for a special ladies brunch or lunch. And I absolutely adore warm popovers!!
- Offer a flavored butter. You’ll be the hostess with the mostest when you make a simple flavored butter to go with the salad’s bread – try blueberry, lemon & vanilla bean, or cinnamon honey!
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- ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons finely minced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl or quart jar. Then use an immersion blender to blitz until smooth. You could also use a blender or food processor. (see Notes below for not blitzing)
Using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor will give you a smooth, thickened, and opaque dressing like my photos show.
Alternatively, you can combine all the ingredients in a jar, seal tightly, and shake vigorously to combine. This will leave the dressing with small bits of lemon zest and onion, and the dressing will have a more clear look to it. The dressing will settle when stored and need to be shaken and reincorporated before using.
This dressing is delicious served with fresh greens and berries, or with my winter apple salad!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.